Songbird of the Sage

The Western Music Community lost of another one of its legends on December 30, 2017.  Cowgirl singer, yodeler and iconic personality, Liz Masterson, passed away, after fighting a heroic 5-year battle with ovarian cancer.  Those who knew her will miss her beautiful, definitive voice, her soaring yodeling, her sharp wit, engaging charm and even her frazzly organizational skills.  An exceptionally gracious entertainer; through friendship, laughter and song, she had the ability to express optimism and unfailing good will for everyone she met.

She was born Elizabeth Grace Snider in Denver on December 8, 1946, to Maurice Locke Snider and Eleanor Borden Burwell Snider in Denver, CO.  At age three the family moved to Texas where they lived until she was eight.  Liz explained that this is why she can easily “talk Texan”.  Her brother Ed recalls how their parents often took the family to see Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, at their home venue near Dallas in a “slightly upgraded” stock sale barn. He remembers Liz, then just a toddler, squealing with childish delight over their music.

The family relocated back to Denver again, where Liz attended Smiley Junior High and graduated from East High 1965.  She attended CSU and fondly recalls singing in the cavernous stairwell of her Dorm (Ingersall Hall) while strumming a few chords on the guitar, much to the delight of fellow students passing by.  Liz graduated in 1970 with a degree in Physical Education and Dance, fully intending to become a teacher.  But, due to declining enrollment and a surplus of teacher candidates at the time, Liz never landed a full-time teaching job.  However, teaching’s loss was Western Music’s gain.  Her career shift led Liz down a winding path, through a variety of life challenges and experiences; working as a waitress (one place of note in the early 1970’s was at the Red Lion Inn in Vail, CO), she also worked as a bartender, bank teller and held down several other odd jobs throughout the years. Liz, having taken many folk dancing classes in college, after graduation, kept up her interest by joining the Boulder Folk Dancing community.  It was there that Liz befriended many local musicians who remained her friends throughout the rest of her life.

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